Recent Modernist Blog Posts

Welcome to the Amazing Food Made Easy blog! This is a place I can share information and updates that don't fit into a specific area on the rest of the site. I focus mainly on sous vide and modernist cooking but if it's an interesting cooking method or fun cooking news I'll cover it as well.

In addition to cooking and sous vide news, how to guides and other articles, there's a lot of different types of information here including:

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Thanks, enjoy the blog and happy cooking!

Sous Vide Food Prep with the Cook, Chill, and Reheat Method

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Sous vide is a great process for many things, from making fancy food to convenient weekday meals, but one thing people often don't think of is how great it can be for weekly food prep. Because the food is already in a sealed package, and fully cooked or pasteurized, you can easily store it for later.

There are many methods for using sous vide for food prep, but my favorite is the cook, chill, and reheat method. It is a pretty simple method that boils down to sous viding the food ahead of time, chilling it, and then reheating it when you are ready to eat.

It greatly cuts down on the cooking times before eating (especially for tough cuts!) and it makes it easy to use sous vided foods in other preparations (hello turkey club sandwiches!).

It's also a very easy method to learn, since the initial cooking process is the same as most sous vide cooking. You can also get a much better sear using this method, because the food is coming from a lower temperature. In some cases you can even reheat using only a sear, leading to a "traditional" crust on your food.

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What Time & Temperature for Beef Tenderloin? - Ask Jason

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During a recent Live Ask Jason Q&A session John asked "I have a whole whole beef tenderloin from Sam's, what's a recipe for medium-rare on the rare side? - John Schoeneck

Jason responded to John with the following: Like other sous vided meats, the doneness you want is all about the temperature it's cooked at. I have some charts on my sous vide Time and Temperatures page that gives you general ranges for rare, medium-rare, medium, etc. For the rest of his thoughts, see the full article.

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Water Bath vs Stick Circulator for Sous Vide? - Ask Jason

Water bath vs circulator.png In this episode of Ask Jason, Doug asks: "Is one better, a water bath or a stick circulator for sous vide?" - Doug Weller That's a good question and part of it depends what you're trying to accomplish. I've used several water baths and they work really well. For most cooks and most uses a water bath (i.e. the Sous Vide Supreme) and a stick circulator (i.e. Anova, ChefSteps Joule or Gourmia) work just as well as each other.
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How to Combine Sous Vide and Cold Smoking? - Ask Jason

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In this episode of Ask Jason, Cody asked "Thoughts on cold smoking and sous vide?"

I haven't done any real cold smoking with sous vide. I've used the smoking gun some but it is different. The smoking gun normally doesn't contribute as much smoke flavor as real cold smoking would do.

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How do You Pin Down Floating Sous Vide Items? - Ask Jason

Pin down floaters.png In this episode of Ask Jason, Ben asks: "What do you recommend to pin down items that float?" See how Jason answered Ben Allen.

This is a big issue for a lot of people. Originally, it was something I didn't encounter much so I wasn't in a hurry to look into it. However, I thought I should do some testing and write an article on my blog about the various ways to prevent bags from floating. But as I started testing these things, I realized that using them makes sous viding so much easier. I went from not having a problem necessarily, to now I hate cooking without using something to hold the bag down.

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What is the Best Choice for a Second Sous Vide Machine - Ask Jason

Jason responded to Yvonne when in a recent Live Ask Jason Q&A session she inquired "What is the best choice for a second sous vide machine?"

A recommendation for a second sous vide circulator? I'd say same criteria as the first unit. Pick a circulator that has the type of functions that interests you. The Anova Nano is a great bare-bones one, and the Anova Precision cooker has the Wi-Fi and the Bluetooth. The Joule is more kind of fancy. If you tend to be a tech geek, the lack of physical controls on the Joule makes it fun to play around with!

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How Do You Sous Vide Schnitzel - Ask Jason

Sous vide chicken parmigiana

In this episode of Ask Jason, Paul asked:"Schnitzel and sous vide, how does this work when you pound thin, sous vide, then fry. Is it worth sous viding it?" - Paul McLester

It definitely works. Cole Wagoner did one a few weeks ago and said it was brilliantly crispy. I've done both sous vide chicken parmesan and chicken piccata, but not schnitzel.

The first thing I would do is not pound it too thin for a sous vide cook.

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Help Cooking a Whole Turkey - Ask Jason

Sous vide turkey thigh bath

In a recent Live Q & A session, Chris Asked Jason "Can I have a little bit of help about cooking a whole turkey?" See how Jason responded:

There's a good Facebook thread in the group talking about different methods of cooking a whole turkey. I personally never cook sous vide whole turkeys.

Normally I break them apart because I prefer the white meat sous vided at 140°F (60°C) and the dark meat at 148°F (64.4°C). It's also a little bit easier to handle the individual parts than an entire turkey. The same goes for chicken as well.

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What is the Best Way to Combine Smoke and Sous Vide - Ask Jason

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Christopher asked Jason: "What are your recommended times and temperatures for smoking and then sous viding a prime rib.

There's been a lot of talk lately about sous viding and smoking.Darrin Wilson runs a great Facebook group called Fire and Water Cooking which covers both smoking and sous vide. I recommend you check out his group if you're looking for some good tips about stuff like this.

But in general, you're trying to combine smoke and sous vide. You're adding flavor through the smoking process and you're tenderizing through the sous vide process. You can either smoke before or after the sous vide cooking; they both have their benefits. I think the pre-smoke infuses it with a little bit more flavor. Where the post-smoke doesn't go quite as deep, but you do have the new smoke on it as you're pulling it out and your finishing it on the grill.

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Why Does My Sous Vide Chicken Roulade Come Out Stringy? - Ask Jason

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Owen asked Jason: Why Does My Sous Vide Chicken Roulade Come Out Stringy?

I haven't done any chicken roulade, but I've made a decent amount of turkey roulade which is pretty similar and I've cooked a whole lot of chicken breasts. I'm not sure if you were using white meat or dark meat in the roulade or what sous vide temperature you used.

I've had really good results using turkey breast and cooking the roulade at a 140°F (60°C), which is generally what I like to sous vide turkey breast at. We normally think of turkey breast as being a real tender meat, but it's actually a pretty tough cut. It can benefit from longer cooking times, so I sous vide my turkey breast for about 10 to 12 hours.

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How Do You Pasteurize Ground Beef With Sous Vide

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Cheryl asked Jason: "Your article talks about calculating pasteurization times for slabs, but what about ground meat? Can you go over how to read your timing ruler? I want to understand pasteurization better. Sometimes I just need to pasteurize the meat and not tenderize it, other times I want to do both. Is the pasteurization only without factoring in time for tenderizing that I don't understand?"

It's a very good question. With the ground beef it's considered a slab. If you're doing meatballs, it's a sphere, and if you're doing a meatloaf, it's a cylinder. So you use the same pasteurization and timing like you would for whole pieces of meat. In general, they heat up at close enough to the same speed, that it should work fine.

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How to Make Ramen-Style Eggs with Sous Vide?

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Gary Huang asked Jason, my challenge is making ramen eggs that peel without making a total mess. I tried following Joule's recipe at 194°F (90°C) for 9 minutes and then soaking in an ice water bath but the shell sticks like glue destroying the eggs. I cracked the shells and tried peeling underwater as well but no dice. I'm curious if you have any advice to help?

I don't have a lot of experience with eggs. I find sous vide eggs to be a pain in the butt. When they work well, they work really well but they are unpredictably cantankerous. I know some people have and they have really good results with it. But I feel like it's one of those things that I need to experiment with a whole lot more before I am confident with what I'm doing. I know how to boil eggs in a pan on the stove and how to make poached eggs traditionally, so I tend to just do that instead of sous viding them.

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Getting Creative with Vegetables - Ask Jason

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Mike Asked Jason: Another challenge for me has been getting creative with vegetables. I love your sweet and spicy carrots recipe, especially the convenience of dumping everything into the bag to cook and then you just put it straight on the plate and you don't do anything else with it.

There are a lot of vegetable recipes you can do that with as long as you don't mind them being a little watery.

Remember my 80% good enough mantra? When I'm cooking for a basic weeknight meal, I don't want to spend extra time and dirty more pots. I'll throw some vegetables in a sous vide bag with a little bit of olive oil or butter and a few herbs and spices. I'll cook them through until they're tender, put them on the plate and serve. I find besides being really flavorful, they're healthy to eat and the vegetables are perfectly cooked. It's a good way to kind of maximize my "golden rule".

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What are Some Tips for Sous Vide Chicken Breasts? - Ask Jason

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Janel Asked Jason: I bought the sous vide to tackle my archenemy, chicken breast. I always overcook it and I'm hoping sous vide would help. I've yet to make one that turns out though. Maybe I'm just used to dry chicken and the sous vide ones have such a different texture.

I think chicken breast is something that some people cook with sous vide the first time and they love it. It changes their appreciation of sous vide and chicken breasts forever. Other people really struggle with chicken breasts for years. It's an interesting phenomenon to me.

I like to sous vide chicken breasts at 140°F (60°C). I feel like the texture is the most traditional-like that you can get from sous vide without it being overcooked. In addition, it still retains a lot of moisture.

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What's Your Favorite "Knockout"? - Ask Jason

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Adam asks what's your favorite knockout of 2018 so far?

I assume he's talking about dishes and not MMA or boxing. And in that case, I really liked 2 things.

One was the Snake River Farms gold wagyu they sent me. They hired me to make a video on how to sous vide prime rib, and sent me one of their bone-in wag American wagyu prime rib roasts. Not only did it taste amazing but it was also really fun to experiment with it. I cook it using a few different preparations and had my friend over to help me eat the $400, 11-pound prime rib. So that experience was all round exciting and something I generally don't do on a day-to-day basis.

The other one was from my sous vide Thanksgiving course. I hadn't really made a turkey or chicken roulade before. And since a lot of people were encouraging me to include it as part of the course, I wanted to make sure I had a recipe or two for it.

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